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Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Honest and Powerful

Finally, a book that really sums up our building environmental situation without so much confusing scientific clutter. As a student of environmental law, I have learned to navigate my way through the lingo, but most people find it somewhat alienating and abandon any no...
Finally, a book that really sums up our building environmental situation without so much confusing scientific clutter. As a student of environmental law, I have learned to navigate my way through the lingo, but most people find it somewhat alienating and abandon any notions they may have had to try and understand climate change. This book is filled with important information that is explained clearly and concisely.
Also, there are few sources that can be trusted more than Bill McKibben when it comes to this subject matter. His heart and his priorities seem to be exactly where they should be. He walks the precarious line between economic viability and environmental responsability very clearly, while too many others leave issues muddied and confusing.
I have gifted this to many already and will continue to get it into the hands of as many people as possible this year. This really is a book I think everyone must read.

posted by isbjorn on May 14, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

I read this book over a year ago, but the earth's climate is cha

I read this book over a year ago, but the earth's climate is changing quickly. Do believe that we can turn around now and reduce CO2 to below 350 ppm is a fallacy. Otherwise this book was very informative and I applaud Mr. McKibben for his work.

posted by Anonymous on January 19, 2014

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  • Posted December 15, 2010

    A real eye-opener

    Mankind has irreparably changed the Earth's climate and weather conditions. This book gives the details, and tells how to survive on this new world.

    The Earth that mankind knew, and grew up on, is gone. A new planet needs a new name; hence Eaarth. It is a place of poles where the ice caps are severely reduced, or gone. It is a place where the oceans are becoming more acid, because of excess carbon absorbed into the water, not to mention the toxic chemicals and other pollutants being dumped into it. It is a place of more extreme weather patterns.

    The average person might not care if an entire glacier completely melts away, like the Chacaltaya Glacier in Bolivia. Those living downstream, dependent on that glacier for their water supply, will certainly care. Since 1980, the tropics have expanded worldwide by 2 degrees north and south. Over 8 million more square miles of land are now tropical, with dry subtropics pushing ahead of them. The chances of Lake Mead, which is behind Hoover Dam, running dry in the next 10 years, have reached 50 percent. The residents of an oceanside town in North Carolina are spending up to $30,000 each to place large sandbags in front of their homes to keep the ocean at bay.

    The times when America, or the world, can simply grow its way out of its financial problems are gone forever. Building enough nuclear power plants to get rid of even a tenth of the climate change problem will cost at least $8 trillion. According to one estimate, America needs to spend over $200 billion a year for decades, just on infrastructure, to avoid the kind of gridlock that will collapse the economy. A small village in Alaska is being evacuated, because of rising sea levels, at a cost of $400,000 per person. There is not enough money on Earth to evacuate everyone threatened by rising sea levels.

    What to do? Some people are taking another look at small-scale agriculture, getting away from a dependence on artificial chemicals and fertilizer. Eliminate the middlemen, like advertising and transport, and put more money in the farmer's pocket. Along with local agriculture, consider local power generation.

    This is a really eye-opening book. The first half is pretty bleak, showing just how bad things have gotten. But, there is plenty of hope in the second half of the book. It is very much recommended.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Honest and Powerful

    Finally, a book that really sums up our building environmental situation without so much confusing scientific clutter. As a student of environmental law, I have learned to navigate my way through the lingo, but most people find it somewhat alienating and abandon any notions they may have had to try and understand climate change. This book is filled with important information that is explained clearly and concisely.
    Also, there are few sources that can be trusted more than Bill McKibben when it comes to this subject matter. His heart and his priorities seem to be exactly where they should be. He walks the precarious line between economic viability and environmental responsability very clearly, while too many others leave issues muddied and confusing.
    I have gifted this to many already and will continue to get it into the hands of as many people as possible this year. This really is a book I think everyone must read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Eaarth, by Bill McKibben is simply a terrific book

    Bill McKibben says the reason his book's title has an extra "A" is we're already living on a different planet, because so much has changed in such a short time. We have to look at our world in a different way to understand this.

    His easy way of writing, laced with humour and unforgettable images, make this book readily understandable for everyone. And it's short: You can read it in just a few days.

    In the first half, he explains how life on our planet today has been changed by global warming, Some of what you read will surprise you and even shock you, but all of it is interesting.

    On page 99, he starts writing about solutions -- possibilities for our future and methods for adapting to our new environment. He writes, "Like someone lost in the woods, we need to stop running, sit down, see what's in our pockets that might be of use, and start figuring out what steps to take."

    He tells us how we can manage the changes that will be affecting our lives, rather than just let them happen to us. He says, "We've got to make our societies safer, and that means making them smaller. It means, since we live on a different planet, a different kind of civilization." He describes how we can make this very different world workable -- "how we might keep the lights on, the larder full, and spirits reasonably high."

    Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us, writes, "With clarity, eloquence, deep knowledge, and even deeper compassion for both planet and people, Bill McKibben guides us to the brink of a new, uncharted era. This monumental book, probably his greatest, may restore you faith in the future, with us in it."

    I'll give this book five stars any day. My children and grandchildren will be getting copies to keep by their bedsides, to be read and re-read in the years to come.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Excellent thought provoking book about the environment, consumerism and the what is happening to our world as we currently know it. You'll want to read it twice.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    Silly book, serious title.

    I wasnt going to read this book because of the silly title, but I was pleasantly surprised. After tiring of the collapsitarian and doomer scenarios in other books, McKibbens book is a pleasant reminder of the benefits of slowing down a little, appreciating stuff less and people more. There are no grand save-the-earth schemes here, no deus ex machina, just common sense about our need to be resilient, patient, and neighborly.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2010

    definite reading

    watching the news and reading this book bill mckibben hits the nail on the head definite reading for everyone if we want to save the world we live in

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    A must read

    I will admit I sped through the middle a bit, but I will definitely use this in the classroom. Excellent start for a debate and fact verification.

    On a more personal level it made me just that more vigilant about turning lights off, driving less, etc.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    Thank you

    If you still think there is no such thing as global warming, then your not living in the real world. This book sums up what is happening in are world with FACTS and personal account of whats going on atmospherically. This is effecting our ecosystems all over the world. Which in turn effects all of humanity, you and me.

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